Copper deficiency in livestock

An acute copper deficiency is easily distinguished through blood testing, however subclinical deficiencies are more difficult. Naturally occurring copper deficiency is almost entirely confined to grazing cattle and sheep, usually due to copper deficient herbage, but are also found where the molybdenum or iron intake and retention is high. Localized cases of copper deficiency were discovered in England, Wales, Florida and the USSR.

Symptoms include loss of hair color, weight loss, Tremor, ataxia and clonic seizure, fertility and reproductive problems. Dietary changes can reverse conditions.

Copper in Plant, Animal and Human Nutrition. CDA Publication TN35, 1988

Copper deficiency in horses

Copper deficiency influences the coat color and quality. It can also lead to abnormalities in bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments and reduces important enzyme function. Deficiency has been linked to uterine artery rupture in Mares, a fatal complication of labor. Developmental bone disease has been diagnosed in copper deficient foals.

Copper deficiency may be primarily linked to a lack of copper intake or be due to an imbalance intake of other trace elements such as Molybdenum and Zinc.

Pagan J. Micromineral Requirements in Horses. Kentucky Equine Research.